Patient Care

Ithaca Man gets Miniature Implantable Device to Monitor Heart Rhythm

Apr. 9, 2014
Wireless monitor offers long-term remote monitoring to help diagnose, monitor irregular heartbeats

An Ithaca manis among the first in the country to have received a tiny, wireless implantable device allowing UR Medicine doctors monitor his heart beats his heart rhythm.

Adam Cottrell had the device, which is less than half the size of an AAA battery, inserted under the skin in his chest, allowing cardiologists to study his heart rhythms for as long as three years.  

Cottrell is rowing coach at the Cascadilla Boat Club. He was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy a decade ago and recently started suffering palpitations.

David T. Huang, M.D.

“We want to see what’s happening with his heart over a long period of time because we don’t have a clear-cut answer for the cause of the arrhythmia. Patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can be susceptible to dangerous and even life-threatening heart rhythm issues and it will be important to detect any warning arrhythmias.” said David Huang, M.D., director of Electrophysiology at UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital. Strong Memorial and Highland Hospital are first in the area to offer this therapy, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration just weeks ago.

The Reveal LINQ ICM allows cardiologists continuous, wireless monitoring capability for people who suffer unexplained chest pain, dizziness, fainting or arrhythmias. If a patient’s heart begins to beat abnormally, the system can send an alert to the cardiologist, allowing them to record and track it.

Using a minimally invasive technique, the device is placed just beneath the skin through a small incision of less than 1cm in the upper left side of the chest and is often nearly invisible to the eye once inserted.  

“It was a really simple process and now the doctors will know what my heart is doing if it happens again,” Cottrell said.

The University of Rochester Medical Center has a long history of leadership in heart rhythm disorders. Scientists and clinicians have made ground-breaking and long-lasting discoveries in the treatment and prevention of cardiac arrhythmias -- irregular rhythms that are associated with increased hospitalizations and death; sudden cardiac death; heart failure; and Long QT syndrome, a rare, inherited disorder that makes the heart particularly susceptible to arrhythmias.